All posts by Pastor Al Hughes

The pastor of Bible Baptist since 1986, he has preached in many of our own States, and started two churches before being called to lead Bible Baptist Church.

“I Am Jealous”

I am jealous over you with a godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.” —2 Cor. 11:2;

I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword… —1 Kings 19:10

God is a jealous God (Dt. 4:23). The Lord loves His people to such a degree that even His name is called “Jealous” (Ex. 34:14). He is provoked to jealousy when He must compete for our undivided affections.

Likewise, it is proper for the preacher to be jealous for the people he oversees in God’s flock. The prophet Elijah was deeply distressed by how grievously the Lord was being dishonored by His people (1 Kings 19:10). Israel had abandoned the Word of God (covenant); neglected the worship of God (altars); abused the workers of God (prophets).

As Paul was jealous for the church at Corinth (2 Cor. 11:2), I feel a jealousy for the people God has placed in my spiritual care at Bible Baptist Church. It starts as people become indifferent towards the Word of God—Bible study and preaching are neglected. This leads to the forsaking of Worship at the house of God (Heb. 10:25). Church is abandoned to pursue personal pleasures or agendas. When people forsake worship, it leads to criticism of the Workers of God. The pastor is “bad-mouthed” when he points out the sin in the lives of God’s people.

How jealous are you for the things of God / work of God?

  • Do you ever feel like Elijah? What disturbs you?
  • How do you feel when you hear God’s name profaned?
  • How do you feel when you see God’s people compromise and flirt with the world.
  • How do you feel when worship services are neglected?

How you answer these questions will reveal much about your own love for the Lord! No jealousy—Little love.

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Al’s Quotes & Quips for November

Hope you enjoy this month’s batch of Quotes and Quips I’ve collected from various sources…

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not the absence of fear.” (Mark Twain, quoted in Entrepreneur.com)

“Defeat may serve as well as victory to shake the soul and let the glory out.” (Edwin Markham, quoted in the Beckley, W.Va., Register-Herald)

“The best way to overcome hard luck is with hard work.”

“Doing nothing is very hard to do… you never know when you’re finished.” (Leslie Nielsen, quoted in the Tulsa World)

“Finding a way to live the simple life today is a man’s most complicated task.” (Henry A. Courtney, quoted in Forbes.com)

“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” (James Baldwin, quoted in MSNBC.com)

“Pessimists see failure in every opportunity. Optimists see opportunities in every failure.” (Winston Churchill, quoted in the London Evening Standard)

“To feel that one has a place in life solves half the problem of contentment.” (George Edward Woodberry, quoted in the Associate Press)

“Time sneaks up on you like a windshield on a bug.” (John Lithgow)

“Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

“It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.” (Bill Gates)

QUOTE OF THE MONTH: “Winning the lottery has ruined my life.” (Callie Rogers, of Cumbria, England after winning $3 million six years ago when she was 16. She has spent her winnings on designer clothes, cocaine, and breast implants. “In the past six years I’ve sunk into a black hole,” she said, “a black hole that at one point I thought I could never crawl out of.” Quoted in World magazine, Sept. 26, 2009)

Preacher

Two Fires

And when they had kindled a fire… Peter sat down among them. —Luke 22:55

As soon as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there.
—John 21:9

Peter warmed himself at the enemy’s fire and denied the Lord. The devil always has a convenient fire for saints who are about to slip. Taking it easy is often the prelude to backsliding. Comfort precedes collapse.

Days later, Peter warmed himself at another fire—the coals Jesus had kindled on the beach. There he met the question, “Lovest thou me?” and received the commission, “Feed my sheep.”

Many Christians are living between Satan’s Fire and the Savior’s Fire. If you have fallen because you warmed yourself when you should have warned yourself, the Lord seeks an interview. Peter, the backslider, was marked special: “Go tell his disciples and Peter (Mk. 16:7). He does not want to fire you out but to fire you up!

If you have fallen at Satan’s Fire, you may be forgiven at the Savior’s Fire. Do not live between fires.

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The Pastor / Shepherd

He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young. —Isaiah 40:11

While the primary job of a pastor is preaching, his preaching would be meaningless without people sitting in the pews. He is not only a preacher, but also a shepherd of God’s people. Therefore, a pastor is in the “people business.” Today’s text verse gives a threefold focus for every pastor toward the flock God has entrusted him with:

1) He is to LOVE his people—“he shall… carry them in his bosom.” As Paul said to the church at Philippi, “I have you in my heart” I love the people of Bible Baptist Church. I carry them in my heart throughout the day. (Phil. 1:7).

2) He is to LIFT his people—“he shall gather the lambs with his arm…’ I love the imagery of that statement. He stretches out his arms and lifts the lambs up. A compassionate pastor realizes his people have been out in the world all week long in a hostile environment. They’ve been attacked and faced a barrage of Satan’s fiery darts. They come into church and sit down in a pew hoping for a little relief from the abuse of the world. Here is where a pastor LIFTS his people’s hearts and encourages them from God’s Word. Then throughout the rest of the week he is LIFTING them up in prayer before the throne of grace interceding on their behalf.

3) He is to LEAD his people—“he shall… gently lead those that are with young.” A pastor is not a cattle driver. He is a leader. He doesn’t PUSH the flock. If he’s pushing, he is behind the flock. He needs to out front leading by example in soul winning, prayer, Bible Study, praise, etc.

I praise God for calling me to Love, Lift, and Lead the people of Bible Baptist Church. I wouldn’t trade my calling for anything in the world.

Preacher

The Sound of Music

Praise ye the LORD. Sing unto the LORD a new song, and his praise in the congregation of saints. —Psalms 149:1

Julie Andrews sings, “The hills are alive with the sound of music…” It is also true “the Bible is alive with the sound of music.” It is a “Hymn Book” because it is a book all about “Him.”

There are many songs in the Bible. The first song is in Exodus 15, Psalms is a song book, Jesus and the disciples sang at the conclusion of the Lord’s Supper, and the Bible ends in Revelation with a chorus of “Hallelujah’s.” We are to admonish one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Col. 3:16).

Consider this: God commands us to “confess” 21 times in the Bible. God commands us to “repent” 38 times. We are commanded to “pray” 117 times. We are commanded to “teach” 118 times. God commands us to sing 145 times! If prayer, repentance, and teaching is important, so is singing! Never underestimate the value and importance of singing.

“In the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee!” —Heb. 2:12